The Senate has begun to debate its version of a multi-year national highway bill, called the Drive Act. The bill would reauthorize the Federal Highway Administration's Recreational Trails Program (RTP).
However, Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) has filed an amendment (S.A. 2280) to the bill that would eliminate the Transportation Alternatives Program, which includes the Recreational Trails Program. The horse industry benefits greatly from this program. The Senate could vote on this amendment as early as this weekend.
The American Horse Council urges all recreational riders and trail users to call their Senators and ask them to oppose the Lee amendment S.A. 2280 or any amendment that would eliminate the Recreational Trails Program.
Since its inception RTP has provided money for thousands of state and local trail projects across the country, including many that benefit equestrians. RTP provides funding directly to the states for recreational trails and trail-related facilities for all recreational trail users. It is funded with a portion of the gas taxes paid into the Highway Trust Fund by recreational off-highway vehicle users.
You can reach your Senators by calling the Congressional switchboard at 202-225-3121. Ask for your Senators' office and then ask to speak to the staff person who handles transportation issues.
Call them as soon as possible and tell them:
- You support the Recreational Trails Program and it is important to trail riders in your state.
- Please oppose the Lee amendment (S.A. 2280) to the DRIVE Act that would eliminate the RTP program.
- Tell them RTP is a very effective, user-pay/user-benefit program and a proven success story. It serves as the foundation for state trail programs across the country, facilitates healthy outdoor recreation, and helps spur economic activity in countless communities.
Recreational Organizations: Please share this with your members.
If you have any questions please contact the AHC at (202) 296-4031.